Health alert issued for flood-stricken central Greece, EU pledges support

Regions in central Greece are on alert for the impact of the recent floods on public health, local officials said on Tuesday. The European Union (EU) has pledged financial aid for recovery.

To date, 46 cases of gastroenteritis and 24 cases of respiratory infection have been reported since Storm Daniel swept across the Thessaly plain and nearby areas last week, causing extensive flooding, Eirini Agapidaki, deputy health minister, told a press briefing held in Larissa city, according to an e-mailed press release.

There was no need to panic, she said, but people should follow the authorities’ instructions regarding drinking water and should avoid contact with contaminated waters and dead animals.

At least 38,000 sheep and 7,000 other farm animals were reported drowned, and nearly 20,000 carcasses have already been removed from the area, officials told journalists.

According to the latest update, 45 villages have been affected; a large part of the plain remains a muddy lake; infrastructure, such as railway lines, bridges and roads, as well as homes, farms and fields, has been destroyed.

Fifteen people died and 4,570 were evacuated to safety, according to the Fire Brigade.

The EU stands by the Greek people affected by last week’s devastating floods and Greece could mobilize up to 2.25 billion euros (2.41 billion U.S. dollars), European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday after her meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Strasbourg, the Greek national news agency AMNA reported. ■


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